Info for GBDA students who began study prior to fall 2022

This information is for Global Business and Digital Arts Students that started GBDA, prior to Fall 2022.

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Our courses cover topics ranging from design, imaging and user experience to business and code/computing. Each course is taught by faculty who have extensive experience within their discipline.

To enhance knowledge application and real-world experience, the GBDA program requires students to complete a four-month internship and encourages students to go abroad for one term.

Course Offerings

The following courses are required in order to graduate with a Global Business and Digital Arts degree. This information is also contained within the academic calendar:

Undergraduate Calendar (for course descriptions and pre-requisites)

Schedule of Classes (for enrolment caps, class times and locations)

See course syllabi.

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GBDA internships are a mandatory graduation milestone, taking place in the spring term following the completion of a student's 3rd year of academic studies. Over the course of 16 weeks (between May 1st and August 31), students will work a 35 to 40 hour week at an approved organization earning an average hourly wage of $20/hr.

*A completed internship milestone on a GBDA student’s academic record will indicate successful completion of this requirement.

Process and Procedure for Students

Cooperative and Experiential Education facilitates the GBDA internship Recruitment Cycle for GBDA students. GBDA students will always participate in the Winter Recruitment Cycle. View the Current Co-op Recruitment Cycle dates.

GBDA students will find all internship possibilities in WaterlooWorks and are invited to apply to ALL posted co-operative education jobs as well as jobs posted specifically for GBDA students.

Specifically, WaterlooWorks is the system you will use to:

  • Apply to internships
  • Get notifications of scheduled interviews
  • Get notifications of rankings
  • Get notifications of job offers

* GBDA students are expected to follow the Co-op rules & responsibilities

Failure to honour any commitment for employment (ex: job matches through WaterlooWorks, previously committed offers of employment, or failing to report to work for an agreed upon employment commitment, etc.) will result in disciplinary action.

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Go Abroad

Going abroad can add value to your degree by supporting the development of new skills, building your international network and expanding your views and opportunities.

students with suitcasesOver 50% of our Global Business and Digital Arts students pursue a term abroad either in their first term of third year (3A) or first term of fourth year (4A).

GBDA students who obtain both a 70% minimum average in their major and 70% minimum overall and have completed 2 years of university by the time of exchange are eligible to participate. Do note: Some of our exchange programs require a language background. You may want to consider taking a language course prior to your exchange.

GBDA Students: Please see the Go Abroad website to learn more about how an exchange can complement your degree!

*Students begin the Go Abroad process in second year (2A).

Go Abroad Opportunities

Third Year
If you want to go in 3A, all study abroad and exchange opportunities offered by the Faculty of Arts are available to you, providing the semesters line up with our own. In addition, here is a list of schools that previous GBDA students have attended and courses they have taken. This can help you determine a school you might be interested in.

Fourth Year
If you are going abroad in 4A, you are only permitted to consider our recommended exchange partners (PDF) to mitigate conflicts with the timeline of mandatory internships.

The Process

The GBDA Go Abroad process is a collaboration facilitated between the Stratford School, the Student Success Office and your host university.  Please refer to the following information regularly.

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Frequently Asked Questions

GBDA is a program that's completely unique to the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business at the University of Waterloo.

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Can I transfer into the co-op stream?

No. As your GBDA program is a regular program, it is not possible to transfer to the co-op stream. We integrated practical experience directly through the program including:

  • Course-based projects where students work with industry mentors
  • A 4-month internship
  • The development of an e-portfolio

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Can I do a minor?

GBDA students have 6 elective courses. Most minors require that you complete 8-10 classes in that discipline. GBDA students wishing to complete a minor would be required to take extra courses, and those courses would need to fit into the student's schedule.

I have to do a second language course - what are my options?

We offer many introductory language courses. You can select classes from Arabic, Latin, Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. You can view all the options through the undergraduate calendar.

I'm in another program at Waterloo - can I take a GBDA class? 

Unfortunately no. Due to our differentiated tuition fee structure, and physical space limits, GBDA classes are only available to GBDA students.

Where will I live when I am studying in Stratford?

Students find off-campus housing in the community - the Off-Campus Housing Office works with students and landlords to provide resources and support in arranging housing. There are a variety of student-focused accommodations in Stratford. Note that if planning to live outside of Stratford during upper years, transportation is the responsibility of the student.

International Experience

Can GBDA students complete the Global Experience Certificate?

Yes! GBDA students can easily complete the GEC, as they complete many requirements as part of their program (e.g. 2 language courses, an internationally-focused course) and have the opportunity to do an international exchange.

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